Golden Daysincludes twenty oral histories of women who graduated from Mississippi State College for Women (now Mississippi University for Women) at least fifty years ago. From Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope's (1926) description of a teaching career beginning just before the 1927 Delta flood to Juanita McCown Hight's (1934) account of campus conversations with violinist Jascha Heifetz and writer/adventurer Richard Halliburton, these stories illustrate the profound influence of the nation's first public college for women on the lives of the storytellers. Vivid reminiscences about life on campus recall a different world of blue uniforms, rigid rules, and demanding faculty.
Even after many decades, these women still clearly remember particular teachers who inspired and pushed them to succeed, midnight dormitory pranks played on long-suffering "social advisers," and the spring Zouave marching drills directed by the indomitable Emma Ody Pohl. Whether they graduated in 1926 or 1956, there is a common thread running through these memories: an appreciation for academic life, strong leadership, cultural experiences that enriched lives, a recognition that the university gave self-confidence to pursue unusual or difficult careers, and a gratitude for remarkable friendships which have lasted a lifetime.
The Southern Women's Institute of Mississippi University for Women provides a foundation for research and inclusive outreach through the study of women in both traditional and non-traditional roles. The Institute's research focuses on the history of MUW and the position women hold in the culture and foundation of the South both today and in the future.